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Drying flowers using silica gel and a microwave

Although I have dabbled in many crafts, dried flowers, is not one I have tried.  These days, however, many blooms can be dried using a microwave oven.

Roses, geraniums, marigolds and zinnias are said to be very successful, however, that is not the case with petunias and impatiens. 

I suppose it is really a case of experimenting.

Here a few pointers -

red rose buds
  • The final blooms will appear several shades darker than the original flowers.

  • It is best to gather the flowers in the late morning after the dew has dried off.

  • Obtain some silica gel crystals which are available from craft shops.

  • Line a microwave safe container with these crystals and heat on High for 3 minutes;  this ensures the crystals are as dry as possible.

  • Place 1in/25mm of warm crystals into a heavy glass container making sure it is wide enough for the flowers you are drying.

  • Cut each flower stem to within 1"/25mm from the flower head.

  • Push each flower stem gently into the warm crystals so that they stand upright.

  • Gradually pour the remaining warm crystals down the side of the glass to completely cover the blossoms.

  • Microwave on High.  Rosebuds will need about 1 minute 45 seconds but large, fleshy blooms will need 4 to 5 minutes.  Once again it is really a case of trial and error in order to find out the optimum time for each species.

  • Cool for 20 minutes, then gently pour off the crystals.  Clean the flower petals carefully ( a fine make-up or paintbrush is ideal for this purpose).  Mist lightly with an acrylic spray.

  • The finished blooms can be taped to florists' wire to provide a stem for flower arrangements.

More information on drying flowers with silica gel

Go on, have a try - what have you got to lose - you may even surprise yourself.






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